Gov’t urges Filipinos in Syria to remain vigilant

MANILA The Philippine Embassy in Damascus on Friday advised anew members of the Filipino community to remain cautious and vigilant despite the reported surrender by Islamic militants of their last remaining stronghold in the capital.

The Embassy issued the advisory as occasional explosions could still be heard even after militants reportedly agreed to surrender Yarmouk camp following an overnight bombardment by Syrian forces that began Thursday afternoon.

Charge d'Affaires Alex Lamadrid said the Embassy had instructed the estimated 500 Filipinos still in Damascus "to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel until the security situation in the capital has normalized."

Lamadrid said the Syrian Army bombardment and the retaliatory mortar fire from militants could be heard at the Embassy, which is seven kilometers away from the nearest point of the fighting.

He also told members of the Filipino community the Embassy is ready to repatriate anyone who may want to leave Syria for the Philippines.

Department of Foreign Affairs communications chief Elmer Cato said at least 1,000 Filipinos are still in Syria despite frequent shellings and airstrikes in various parts of the country. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency